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CHIPS Articles: Cyber Protection Teams are “New Infantry”

Cyber Protection Teams are “New Infantry”
By DISA News - September 20, 2016
John Hickey, the Defense Information Systems Agency’s cyber development executive, spoke to members of two Cyber Protection Teams (CPTs) assigned to DISA Headquarters, CPT 90 and CPT 94, during a capstone training course Sept. 6.

His remarks focused on protecting the DoD Information Networks (DoDIN) and referenced several of the DISA-provided tools in their arsenal, including the Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS), Host-Based Security System (HBSS), internet access points, and Cyber Situational Awareness Analytical Capabilities (CSAAC).

“I’m excited to see you guys added to the force. I’ll say you are almost like the ‘new infantry’ in my perspective because on the cyber domain — it is a domain — we’re being attacked daily and we need people who can hunt key terrain,” he said.

“It’s important to understand the state of the network today and really understand the behavior … so when there are changes to that behavior on key terrain, you are the gap filler for what our tools can’t see,” said Hickey. “A lot of that is going to be coming from your gut and that’s [developed] through training and exposure.”

According to Hickey, DISA spends approximately $1 billion a year on cyber operations to protect the network, which changes on a daily basis and is exposed to numerous threats.

“The CPTs are the critical link. We can have the best tools in the world, but it still takes [people] to figure out what’s going on,” said Hickey.

The CPT DoDIN course is offered to DISA’s CPT members and consists of mandatory online and classroom training, cumulating in a one-week capstone course. The capstone course allows students to participate in real-world scenarios, in a simulated non-production environment, to increase their proficiency level and demonstrate their ability to react to real-world threats. It is only one of many course offerings produced and managed by DISA’s Cyber Development Directorate, which is responsible for training the DoD cyber workforce.

For more information about CPTs and cyber workforce training, please visit the Information Assurance Support Environment (IASE) website.

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John Hickey, DISA’s cyber development executive, speaks to Cyber Protection Teams during their capstone course on Sept. 6.
John Hickey, DISA’s cyber development executive, speaks to Cyber Protection Teams during their capstone course on Sept. 6.
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